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Selling your home? Things you can do now, to get ahead of the game!

Selling your home? One of the main reasons for a house sale to fall through is time. The longer the conveyancing process takes, the more likely it is that your buyers have second thoughts or a change of circumstance and start to look elsewhere.

At GSC Grays we have a Sales Progression team dedicated to keeping your sale – and you – moving.

Once you have accepted an offer and both you and your buyers have instructed solicitors our Sales Progression team will keep you updated throughout the conveyancing process, communicating with your buyers and their solicitors, surveyors, mortgage advisers and contractors so all parties know how the sale is progressing.

But don’t just rely on us! There are positive steps that you can take now, to help get things off to a flying start.

Checklist to a speedy sale

1. Instruct a Solicitor

We would suggest you do this now.

It is a good idea to speak to more than one company, request quotes, and decide who you are going to use. We can give you the contact details of reputable, local solicitors. It is worth bearing in mind that the cheapest quote is not necessarily the best. A high quality, personal service is important too.

  • Your solicitor will need to see proof of ID before acting.
  • Ask your solicitor to apply for and check your Title Deeds. They will be able to highlight any changes to or defects on the Title and suggest the best way to rectify them.
  • Talk to your solicitor about preparing a draft contract. This will put you in a great position. As soon as you have an acceptable offer, the conveyancing process can begin.

2. Complete some necessary forms

For example, the Property Information Form (TA6 or TA7 for leasehold) and the Fixtures and Fittings Form. Your solicitor can supply these to you now and you can have them completed and on file, ready to go.

3. Arrange an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC)

An EPC will be needed. If you have one already, check it is within date and still relevant. If you have made any home improvements, e.g., a new boiler, it would be worth getting an updated EPC. We will arrange this for you before your property is marketed.

4. Prepare documentation – guarantees, warranties and certificates

Put together a file of any documents that are relevant to your property. Send copies to your solicitor as soon as you can and make a copy available to your buyer’s surveyor. This could save days or weeks during conveyancing.

The following are examples of the more important ones:

  • Building Regulation Completion Certificate, Planning Permission, Listed Building Consent, and builder’s guarantee for any building work done (e.g., extension, alterations).
  • If the property is less than 10 years old provide the build warranty e.g., NHBC certificate.
  • FENSA or Certas certificates for new windows and doors.
  • Guarantees for trade work such as damp work, woodworm treatment, large domestic items such as a new boiler and any structural work such as roof repairs etc.
  • A HETAS certificate for the installation of a stove or fire.
  • Electrical safety certificate (EICR). These are valid for five years and if you have one, you should make it available.

If you are not able to provide something, please speak your conveyancer. They will advise you on the best course of action. We do not recommend contacting the original document provider (e.g., the council, heating engineer etc.) unless your solicitor asks you to.

5. Utilities

Your buyer’s solicitor will, almost always, ask for confirmation that your boiler (or AGA) has been serviced and any working chimneys swept within the last twelve months. There is no legal requirement for you to do this, but if you do, add the proof (often a dated invoice) to your paperwork file.

If your property has a septic tank you will need to provide proof that it complies to current legislation. We can suggest contractors that can inspect and report on the condition and level of compliance of your tank.

Please remember, we are here to help and would be delighted to do so.

Catherine Slater is an award winning agent having won the Sales Candidate of the Year Award at the Propertymark Qualifications Awards 2022.

Find out more about our estate agency services.

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